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Last Updated: Monday, 16 October 2006, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
Matches linked to domestic abuse
Domestic violence
Violence rose an average 25% on England match days
Domestic violence surged by up to 31% on England's World Cup match days this year, Home Office data has revealed.

The biggest rise in reports of domestic violence to English and Welsh police was on Saturday, June 10 - when England beat Paraguay 1-0.

Previous academic research has linked sporting events and alcohol consumption with increases in such violence.

Police should plan to deal with a surge in domestic violence cases on major sporting occasions, the report said.

One in four offenders were found to be under the influence of alcohol.

Multi-million campaign

On average, domestic violence increased 25% on England match days - 31.41% on the day of the Paraguay game.

In comparison, reports of domestic violence went up 4.63% on the day of the Italy versus France final.

England's 2-0 defeat of Trinidad on Thursday 15 June led to a 31.36% increase.

The team's 1-3 defeat on penalties by Portugal on Saturday 1 July saw a 30.42% increase.

England-Sweden's 2-2 draw on Tuesday 20 June led to a 17.7% rise and the 1-0 defeat of Ecuador on Sunday 25 June resulted in the lowest increase of 11.69%.

Domestic violence is a cowardly crime that will affect one in four women during their lifetime
Baroness Scotland

It is the first time the government has published results of its 1.3m domestic violence enforcement campaigns, which ran over eight weeks in February and March, and during the World Cup tournament in June and July.

As part of it, police in Plymouth and Coventry used video systems worn on the head to record what happened at an incident from the time police arrived.

The technique had the potential to "radically enhance" police performance at a range of incidents, not just domestic violence cases, said the Home Office report.

Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman and Deputy Chief Constable of Surrey Police, Brian Moore, said: "We know that football and alcohol can provide excuses for violent people to be abusive at home as well as in the streets.

"Our strategy to police big sporting events in the future will need to manage domestic as well as public place violence."

He added: "This is not the fault of football - this is the fault of violent people taking any excuse to be abusive."

Home Office minister Baroness Scotland said: "The results of this first domestic violence enforcement campaign are extremely encouraging in that they highlight the successes that can be won in protecting victims and bringing offenders to book when innovative and new policing techniques are put to use.

"Domestic violence is a cowardly crime that will affect one in four women during their lifetime and, on average, claims the lives of two women each week - killed by a current or former partner.

"We want to make sure that those suffering abuse behind closed doors have the confidence to come forward and are then given the support and protection they so badly need."

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